2020 has quite obviously been an eventful year for the world, but we all probably don’t even know the half of what’s gone on in one another’s personal lives to make things even more insane on a less mainstream level.
So, I figured I would share some of mine, and maybe even provide a laugh or two.
It was a Saturday morning, and I awoke before the sun. The night before, I was out celebrating my best friend’s 29th birthday. We ate, we drank, we gambled, danced, and did karaoke for hours. Nothing too crazy happened; we didn’t drink excessively or get sick, but we were certainly sauced.
I woke up on my friend’s couch and immediately felt that something was wrong with me, and it definitely wasn’t a hangover.
My heart was racing faster than it ever had before. I was slipping in and out of consciousness while gallons of sweat poured out of me – to the point where I could wring out my hair and clothes, and I did several times. My skin was so hot and feverish, it actually burned to the touch and looked as red as a sunburn. I couldn’t catch my breath, and my beating heart was visible through my skin. From the waist down, I was hurting and almost numb, and I had to drag myself to the bathroom to try and splash water on my face. My heart palpitations grew gradually worse; skipping beats very tangibly, and again, I was falling in and out of consciousness. This went on for hours.
Looking back, an ambulance should have been called. The only other person that was awake had no idea what to do and was also in a panic, trying to feed me and give me things to drink.
I woke up several hours later in a pool of sweat after having passed out. I felt like I had been dragged behind a tractor-trailer, but that my fever finally broke.
It was a rainy day and I had to leave school early to drive up to Putnam Hospital for a Nuclear Thyroid Test.
A few weeks had gone by since my weird episode. I’d been to the doctor a million times and it was still unexplained. They were leaning toward something of the thyroid nature, though I’d never had any thyroid issues before.
I was early and taking my time. I even planned to stop and drop some paperwork off at my then new internship office.
It wasn’t even five minutes since I’d left Mercy, and a car in the right turning lane decided she wanted to go left. She did just that; turned left and rammed into my truck, detaching the back bumper and throwing me out of the lane I was in.
After that happened, I had to forget about being early for my appointment.
The woman who hit me was difficult as ever, and it took months to get her or her insurance company to even respond. But it finally worked out.
I made it to my test in okay timing. But the results read severely high. On a scale where a 10 or 15 was usually an indicator of something severe, mine was over 36.
Interesting. Scary. But still, they had no answers. My symptoms mimicked Grave’s Disease, but they felt I was too healthy for this to be anything more than just a one-time, bizarre event.
All right, this one goes without saying. The week of March 19 was my last day of work and school because of something called coronavirus COVID-19? Yeah, that.
I still haven’t gone back to work or school in person.
This one was fun.
I had spent a couple of weeks perfecting my 10 or so page final research paper for my English class.
At this point, my life consisted of waking up, walking from my bed to my desk, sitting at my desk until I was done with classes and homework at ungodly hours, and then walking back to my bed to go to sleep and repeat.
Marbles were lost by this point.
I was almost done with this research paper; I think I had just spent about five hours really going through and perfecting it. I got up for a second to grab something, and when I sat back down, my cat was standing on my keyboard, unbeknownst to her, deleting the entirety of my final research paper that was due the following morning.
Yes, I thought I was saving it after every edit. I swear I kept clicking the save button. But no, it did not save. I had to literally start over and rewrite the entire thing: quotes, citations, and all. After crying my eyes out and contemplating a nice dive off the nearest bridge, of course.
(It turned out better than the first one, by the way.)
My tiny little 4-foot-8, 90-pound Grandma went into the hospital right before the start of COVID for other various things. When it became a formal pandemic and the quarantine began, patients were no longer allowed to have any visitors, so she had to remain in that hospital bed with none of her family around her.
Fast forward to May, and she was still in the hospital for the initial reasons, and then on top of that, was diagnosed with COVID-19.
We were distraught, but we also didn’t forget how strong she has always been. So, there was a lot of hope.
After several months with COVID, the hospital called us with the wonderful news that she’d tested negative and could be moved to a nursing home to continue recovering before coming home.
Well, she wasn’t even back at the nursing home for five days when they called to tell us that the hospital tested wrong and that she still had COVID.
She went back to the hospital and didn’t come home, to her actual house, COVID-free, until Saturday, Aug. 22.
I spent the afternoon of Friday, June 12 feeling a little out of sorts. I first thought that I was on the brink of a stomach virus, but something told me that wasn’t the case.
After 24 hours of enduring a pain I’d never experienced before and only being able to lay in the fetal position, I was urged to go to the doctor to make sure nothing serious was wrong with me.
Well, after a visit to urgent care, I was sent immediately to the emergency room, where they discovered I needed an emergency Appendectomy. While laying in bed and waiting, the pain from my lower right side gradually crept up and created muscle spasms and excruciating pain in my right shoulder and neck, so aggressive that my mother had to hold me down. Needless to say, the painkillers did very little for me.
I was out of surgery before midnight, and alone, as no visitors were allowed past the emergency room.
I came off of the anesthesia pretty rough, as usual for me, but the appendix pain was finally gone. The only fairly unusual thing that I noticed was that I couldn’t open my left eye because it was swollen and in pain.
I later found out that the anesthesiologist, while taping my eyes shut in the operating room, sliced my cornea, leaving me with a constantly tearing, swollen, aching eyeball, and blurred vision.
Long story short, they put me on an antibiotic and steroid until I could open my eye again.
But wait! There’s more!
I spent nine days recovering from the surgery at my parents’ house. During my first night back home in my own bed, at 2:30 in the morning, I woke up to loud noises coming from across my room. I noticed my cat running wildly around and knocking things over, but I couldn’t see much more than that because it was pitch black.
I called to her to calm her down and tell her to go back to sleep, but I was interrupted by a bat flying straight at my face while I sat up in bed.
I panicked, covered my head with a blanket and booked it out of my room. I tried desperately to get my cat to follow me, but I ended up needing to reenter the warzone and physically stop my cat from wrestling with the bat all around the floor in order to get her out of there.
The cops came, the wildlife service guy came, the health department called; it was quite a morning, and the sun wasn’t even up yet.
We never found the bat, so we assumed he left through the hole he used to get in. I had to sleep elsewhere for about a week, and both me and my cat had to start rabies treatment.
Rabies treatment is a several part process and takes place over the course of a few weeks. It is extremely important to start the treatment immediately after a situation like this one, even if you aren’t certain that you came into contact with it because, if rabies is contracted, there is a zero percent survival rate except for just one unusual case from years ago. So, following direct orders is mandatory. Had the cop or wildlife center been able to find and catch the bat that night, they would have been able to test it for rabies. However, at the rate it came into contact with my cat and me, and because they never found it, we were a high-risk case.
At the exact days and times that the doctor told me to come to the ER for my shots, I had to be there. The shot goes into alternating arms each time so that neither is overused. The syringe is placed into the deltoid muscle and the solution is to be slowly injected into the arm, as was explained to me by the nurse who administered my first day of shots.
On my third treatment day, the nurse walked in with a young girl, also in scrubs, and I listened to him explain the process with her. He told her that it was a rabies shot that I was getting and he explained where it goes and how it’s done as if she’d never done it before. He said that the solution doesn’t start out as a liquid, it’s a powder that’s mixed with something right before it’s put into the syringe, and then directly after, it is to be given to the patient through their deltoid muscle.
Well, after overhearing that, I couldn’t help but assume this girl wasn’t yet a nurse and was most likely on her externship and in training. I also assumed that meant she’d just be shadowing the nurse while he administered the shot, but I was wrong.
He turned to the computer while she went through the steps he’d mentioned prior. Right after she cleaned my arm with the alcohol wipe, her face turned pale and she, very obviously nervous, shot me in the arm, all of the solution at once, and definitely way higher than my deltoid muscle. It was so different from the others that I actually said something to her.
About two hours later, while doing my homework, the entire left side of my body from the waist up was surged with numbness and pain, even in my left eye. Before I knew it, I was back in the hospital with a paralyzed left arm, ice-cold, blue fingers, and absolutely no patience left.
I’d been gardening a lot after the big storm we had because my plants were blown over and disheveled. One random morning, I woke up with a rash on my foot that burned and itched outrageously. I automatically thought that poison ivy must’ve blown into my garden during the storm and that I’d come into contact with it.
I went to urgent care, yet again, to see if the doctor could give me something to put on said “poison ivy,” but I left with the order to quarantine for two weeks because my foot seemed to have “COVID Toes.” I kid you not.
So, I got tested for COVID twice, and both were negative, just as I suspected, but that was a fun ride. Oh, and yes, it was poison ivy. Who woulda thunk?
I’m pretty sure that September was a fairly decent month. Now it’s Oct. 2, and I’m healthy as a horse; ready to have an absolutely smashing rest of 2020 and an even better 2021, but if the universe decides to throw anything else my way, at least we know I can take it like a champ, right?